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The Hostage Prince (The Seelie Wars) Hardcover – June 13, 2013

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 850L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Seelie Wars (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile; First Edition edition (June 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670014346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670014347
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,148,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-8-This fantasy features third-person narration from alternating points of view and an interesting bunch of magical creatures. Aspen is a "Seelie" prince held hostage in the volatile "Unseelie" Court as part of an uneasy truce between the two kingdoms. When he learns that war has been declared, he flees the castle, joining forces with Snail, a midwife's accident-prone apprentice. Their escape takes them through dungeons, caves, and Astaeri Palace, which are all described with just enough details to capture the magical atmosphere. The most exciting moments involve encounters with an ogre interrogator; the river-dwelling mer; and a hungry, pregnant troll. The enigmatic Sticksman who ferries the heroes to safety and a crafty drow who misleads the prince to further his own villainous scheme are also intriguing secondary characters. Aspen and Snail are refreshingly atypical heroes: Snail's prickly personality gets her into as much trouble as her clumsiness, and Aspen is neither brave nor clever. Nonetheless, they are quite likable, and both gain strength and self-confidence as their adventure progresses and they learn to trust each other. The final chapters, which include a fairly uninvolving imprisonment and escape, slow down in pace, but they also set the stage neatly for the next book in the series, leaving plenty more to learn about the Seelie/Unseelie conflict and the intriguing relationship between the prince and the apprentice.-Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, ORα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"Aspen and Snail are refreshingly atypical heroes." School Library Journal

"A rather thoughtful look at conflict, loyalty, and courage, and the discussion sparked here will hopefully continue with the proposed sequels." —BCCB

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on August 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Hostage Prince (2013) is the first Fantasy novel in the Seelie Wars series. It is set in a world occupied by the Seelie and the Unseelie. Magic works, but takes training and Talent.

In this novel, Snail is an apprentice midwife. She is slower that the other apprentices and more clumsy.

Ailenbran Astaeri, Bright Celestial, Ruire of the Tir na nOg is a Seelie prince. He is a hostage of the Unseelie Court and is known by various nicknames. The least offensive is Prince Aspen.

Obs is the King of the Unseelie. His consort is pregnant and is expected to go into labor very soon.

Jack Daw is a drow. He has been a friend to Aspen since the beginning of his stay in the Unseelie Court.

In this story, Snail is awakened by her mistress and told to ready herself for the coming day. She washes up and dresses. Today is the time for the queen's delivery. She is a little excited by the thought of holding the new prince.

Yet she is also worried that she will drop the baby. Of course, she has held other babies without dropping them. On the other hand, she hasn't yet dropped a baby. She might be very nervous around this one.

She goes down to the kitchen for a bite to eat. She is too late for breakfast and the kitchen apprentices won't let her take anything from the pig barrel. She heads out of the kitchen.

She fails to see another midwife apprentice coming behind her or the server taking a tray of tea out to the diners. The other apprentice gives her a shove and she trips the server. The tea splatters Prince Aspen.

The Seelie Prince forgives her and urges her to vanish immediately. Snail quickly follows his advice, but thinks that he is arrogant. Aspen is invited to sit with King Obs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patika on November 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I am reading/recording this book for Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic). Hopefully, I will get to be the reader for the entire book. Seems like a great series for young readers. I think I know what to get my niece for Christmas now. In addition to the sparkly aqua dress she wants, of course.
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By Dawn E.L. on June 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I found this book almost on accident after browsing through a bookstore, I was on my way out and this gem caught my eye. The Hostage Prince has a little of everything I love, underdogs, royalty, the fey, and most of all the set up for a really great story.

The Hostage Prince focuses on Snail, a midwife's apprentice in the Unseelie castle and her companion Prince Aspen a Seelie prince held hostage to prevent the two sides from going to war. The story opens up with the castle getting ready for the Unseelie Queen to have a baby. After a series of unfortunate events Snail and Aspen find themselves thrown together in an attempt to escape the castle, and accidentally starting a war in the process.

Snail is a delightful heroine with her sarcastic wit and take charge attitude. I liked her from the start, and she only grew on me through the book. Aspen is a prince unused to friends or being pushed around by those of lower status than him, but he still tries to be polite and proper. Snail is good for him, and I think by the end of this series he will make a wonderful hero in his own way. The other characters aren't as formed as the main one's but they still each have a personality of their own and I can't wait to see more of them in future books.

The story started a little slow, and I was expecting certain things to happen faster than they did, but after it got going The Hostage Prince was a fast paced adventure that kept me turning pages to see how Aspen and Snail would get out of each bit of trouble they found themselves in. I found myself wondering how the Unseelie Queen's baby was going to play into things, and what special role the Stickman would play in the rest of the series.
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By murphysm on April 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Fun and not too violent. Good for kids in the middle grades. Hope the other books will be out soon.
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